5 Outlook Tips and Tricks in 2021

If you’re one of the hundreds of millions who use Microsoft Outlook to send emails and schedule meetings, you know how powerful of a tool it can be. Even though some tech experts are predicting that we’ll use chat clients like Teams and Slack to communicate with our peers, Outlook is not going anywhere, at least not in the foreseeable future. It’s a Microsoft staple and can perform a number of different tasks, and whether you are a pro, there are numerous tips and tricks to use to help you make the most out of Outlook.

5 tips to getting the most out of Outlook in 2021

1. Schedule delivery of an email

Type emails now and schedule to be delivered later. After you’ve finished composing your email, go to Options > Delay Delivery > Do not deliver before and specify the day and time you want it to go out. Ensure your email doesn’t get lost in an inbox, especially if there are time-sensitive action items, or if you need to get some emails out before hopping on a four-hour flight somewhere.

2. Outlook keyboard shortcuts

Multi-tasking is easy when you can take a few shortcuts. Here are a few common ones in Outlook to remember to help free up some minutes of your workday.

CTRL + Shift + M = Open a new message

CTRL + Shift + G = Flag a selected message for follow up

CTRL + Shift + K = Create a new task

CTRL + 4 = Switches to Tasks

CTRL + Shift + R = Reply all to a selected message

CTRL + Shift + Q = Create a new meeting request

For a full list of keyboard shortcuts, click here.

3. Setup Rules to Sort and Stop receiving “Those” Emails

The rules feature in Outlook is an underrated tool that, when set up correctly, can help your Inbox from crashing and burning from irrelevant emails like automatic notifications, email threads you didn’t need to be on, or that “fun” email that you don’t have time for. Right-click on an email, hover over Rules and select Create Rule. From here, select the criteria for your rule and what happens to that email. You can move specific emails to a folder, send them to the deleted folder, or create a separate folder to review them when it’s convenient for you.

4. Use virtual sticky notes

Spare your workspace the scattered cluster of miscellaneous post-it notes and use the sticky notes tool in Outlook. Use CTRL + Shift + N to open a new sticky note that can be placed anywhere on your desktop. Yellow is the default color, but you can set up your color preferences in any way that you need.

5. Set up commonly used phrases in Quick Parts

Save yourself a few minutes of repetitious typing when composing your next email by setting up commonly used phrases in Quick Parts. Type the phrase you want to set up > highlight that phrase > Insert > Quick Parts > Save Selection to Quick Part Gallery. Next time you compose an email with that phrase in it, Outlook will generate it for you, and all you’ll have to do is hit Enter to have it typed.

With all of the available tricks out there, you’ll start mastering your Outlook like a pro. And at the end of the day, is there any better feeling than an empty inbox?